I have sad news for those of you who are waiting for the “author fairy” to visit.
She doesn’t exist.
No-one will “dub” you a writer. You become a writer by writing.
Saying “I want to be a writer” the same way your 8 year old child says “I want to be a fireman” won’t work.
But I’m not here to burst your bubble and run away.
I’m here with ideas.
How to Become an Author without Help From the Author Fairy
Find Your Topic – What’s already in your heart? What subject do you have deep expertise in? If you were going to do a keynote, what would you talk about? What topic makes you so interested you could talk about nothing else for the next year or so? (Because that’s what you’ll be doing.)
Build a Platform – The next step is to lay the groundwork for your future readers. Create a central hub for others who are interested in your topic to gather. It could be a blog, an online community, a Facebook Group, but you need to build that kindling teepee that will eventually help you light a roaring bonfire. Start providing value right now.
Invest Sweat Equity – Here’s where everyone gets tripped up. You have to actually start writing. Write every day, all the time, for the trashcan and for your platform. Get practice being edited and getting feedback. Be consistent with your writing schedule so that it becomes a discipline.
Get to Know Your Readers – Your platform isn’t a broadcasting station. It should be the start of an ongoing conversation with those who will rally around your book. Talk to them. Find out their hopes, fears, and dreams.
Decide Your Publishing Method – You’re so lucky! You live in a time when you don’t have to wait for a publisher to seek you out. You can consider self-publishing, whether it’s an e-Book on Amazon or boxes of physical books. There’s no stigma to self-publishing anymore; just be sure to use a professional editor and professional cover design so you stack up well against your competition. If you choose to seek a traditional publisher, create a book proposal and be persistent in approaching potential publishing partners. Harry Potter was turned down by 12 publishers before it found a home, so don’t feel bad if you don’t get picked up by the first one.
The bottom line is that you must put yourself forward the achieve your goals, because nobody is going to knock on your door out of the blue.
Now go for it!
Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for Social Strata — makers of the Hoop.la community platform. Check out the Social Strata blog. You can find Rosemary on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee
Featured image via Flickr CC: fotologic